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how to put WordPress in maintenance mode

How to Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode (Step-by-Step) 

Written By: author image Stacey Corrin
author image Stacey Corrin
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the co-founder of SeedProd. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

Want to learn how to put WordPress in maintenance mode?

We use maintenance mode on hundreds of websites, so we’re aware of how important they are for user experience. Whether you’re making updates, fixing bugs, or redesigning your entire site, maintenance mode is a great way to keep visitors from seeing your site while it’s under construction.

In this guide, we’ll use our experience to show you the EASIEST way to put WordPress in maintenance mode.

Table of Contents

What Is WordPress Maintenance Mode?

WordPress maintenance mode hides your website and displays a user-friendly “maintenance message” while you make updates.

A typical message might say, “We’ll be back shortly! Please check again soon.” This lets visitors know what’s happening and (ideally) gives them an idea of when the site will be live again.

When Should I Enable Maintenance Mode in WordPress?

There are plenty of reasons to temporarily tuck your WordPress site away. Here are some common scenarios:

  • Major Updates: Overhauling your theme, updating plugins, or changing core WordPress files? Maintenance mode minimizes the risk of visitors seeing a broken site.
  • Troubleshooting: Errors and glitches happen. Maintenance mode gives you space to fix things without live visitors stumbling across problems.
  • Website Migration: Keep things smooth when moving to a new web hosting provider by putting your site in maintenance mode first.
  • Launching a New Site: Building anticipation? Hide your work-in-progress site and reveal it with a splash when ready.
  • Security Fixes: Proactively addressing security issues? Maintenance mode shows users you take their data safety seriously.
  • Any Other Downtime: Planned outages, vacations – maintenance mode lets you control when your site is offline.

A cyber security report from Sitelock found that there are 113 million websites with security vulnerabilities, with average websites suffering up to 50 attacks per day. So, putting your site in maintenance to address these issues can indicate to users that you take security seriously.

Easy Maintenance Mode Setup

Don’t let talk of editing your .htaccess file or functions.php file scare you off. There are much easier ways to create a maintenance page in WordPress. We’ll cover those below.

How to Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode

The easiest way is with a dedicated WordPress maintenance mode plugin. We recommend SeedProd – it’s a landing page builder with built-in WP maintenance mode features.

SeedProd Drag and Drop WordPress website builder

Why SeedProd?

  • Templates: Choose from pre-designed customizable maintenance pages to get started quickly.
  • Lead Capture: Collect emails with opt-in forms while your site’s down so you can notify people when you’re back up.
  • Support: Help is on hand for navigating the plugin’s settings if you need it.

Let’s dive into how to use SeedProd for maintenance mode.

Step 1. Install the SeedProd Plugin

First, click here to get started with SeedProd. Then, install and activate the plugin in your WordPress dashboard. If you need help with this step, check out this guide for installing a WordPress plugin.

After activation, SeedProd will ask you to verify your license key. You’ll find this key in the “Downloads” section of your SeedProd account. Paste it into the license field on your screen and you’re ready to go.

how to put WordPress in maintenance mode with seedprod

Once your license is verified, click the Create Your First Page Button further down the screen. You’ll see the SeedProd dashboard, where you can activate all the different page modes and add new landing pages.

Step 2. Create a WordPress Maintenance Page

Let’s now move on to creating your maintenance mode page in WordPress.

At the top of the SeedProd dashboard, you’ll see 4 different sections:

  • Coming Soon Mode – This option adds a coming soon page to your website.
  • Maintenance Mode – This lets you activate maintenance mode.
  • 404 Page – Display a custom 404 landing page on your WordPress website.
  • Login Page – Create a custom WordPress login page.

You’ll need the second option to create a maintenance page on your website. So go ahead and click the Set Up a Maintenance Mode Page option to get started.

Set up a WordPress maintenance mode page

SeedProd offers you tons of design options for your maintenance mode landing page. You can either build your page from scratch or use a ready-made theme from the library of landing page templates.

After clicking the button to set up your maintenance mode page design, you’ll see various templates.

Choose a WordPress maintenance mode template

Just hover your mouse over any maintenance page design template you prefer and click the tick icon to launch it in the visual frontend page builder.

visual WordPress maintenance mode page builder

You’ll see the template on the right side of the drag-and-drop page builder. You can edit every template part by using the options on your left.

Step 3. Customize Maintenance Mode Template

To change the maintenance mode message, click the message on the page and edit it using the inline editor.

WordPress Maintenance mode page message

Here, you can enter a custom maintenance message explaining the downtime to your visitors. Clicking the Advanced tab in the left-hand panel will allow you to change the color, font, spacing, and text-shadow settings.

It’s also possible to change the content order by dragging any page element (called page blocks) from one place to another.

WordPress maintenance mode builder

SeedProd also makes it easy to add extra elements to your page, including contact forms, signup forms, social buttons, and more.

All you need is to choose the page block from the left-hand panel and drag it into position on your page.

For example, you can add a countdown timer that shows how long it is until maintenance is over.

You’ll find that block in the Advanced Blocks section. Click the countdown timer icon and drag the blog onto your live page preview.

Add a countdown clock to your maintenance page in wordpress

Now click the timer on your page to view the different customization settings.

customize your maintenance mode countdown timer

You can select the timer type, end date and time, and size, and even add a custom message and CSS.

The countdown timer block also comes with several pre-made block templates you can implement with a single click. Just select the Templates tab and pick one you like.

choose a template for your maintenance mode countdown timer block

Repeat this process for all the elements you want to change on your maintenance page.

Almost all of the different page blocks come with templates, while the advanced blocks can help generate leads for your page, which include:

  • Giveaways – Add a RafflePress online contest to your page to attract leads while you’re under maintenance.
  • Contact Form – Connect a WPForms contact form to your maintenance page so users can get in touch.
  • Optin Form – Allow users to sign up for your newsletter. It also includes a checkbox to keep your form GDPR compliant.
  • Social Profiles – Get more social media followers with prominent social buttons and social media icons.
  • Star Rating – Increase trust by showing customer reviews and positive ratings.

The great thing about SeedProd is that you don’t have to stick with the same page layout you chose initially. You can change every element to make your maintenance page look exactly how you want. It’s even possible to add custom HTML for any specific design tweaks you need.

Imagine your audience doesn’t know why your site is down, but you’d like to help answer their questions to avoid many support tickets. The easiest way would be to add a FAQ section to your maintenance screen.

Since the template we chose doesn’t include a FAQ section, you’ll have to insert one yourself. But it won’t be too difficult.

Besides offering tons of page blocks, SeedProd has various pre-made sections you can add to your page with a few clicks. Just click the Sections tab in the left-hand panel and find the section you need.

To add a FAQ section, click the FAQ heading and choose one of the layouts available by clicking the Plus icon.

SeedProd will automatically add the section to the bottom of your maintenance mode landing page. Then, all you need to do is customize it with your content.

Insert frequently asked questions onto your maintenance mode page

Customizing your maintenance page background image is just as easy. Just click the gear icon in the bottom left of your screen to see SeedProd’s global settings.

Global maintenance mode page settings

Here, you can add global fonts and background colors and change your maintenance page background. You can even add a full-width background video or slideshow.

In addition, you can add any custom CSS for more styling options.

Maintenance page background image settings.

Customizing Your Maintenance Page for Different Situations

While updates are a common reason to use maintenance mode, it’s important to tailor your messaging based on the specific situation at hand. Here’s how to adjust your maintenance page for several typical scenarios:

Website Launch

Build excitement and anticipation. Instead of “Down for Maintenance”, try “Coming Soon!” or “Launching [Date]”.

coming soon landing page

Consider adding a countdown timer and a brief teaser about what visitors can expect. A signup form for launch notifications is a great way to gain early interest.

Website Migration

Maintenance mode page for migrating a website

A message like, “We’re moving to a better home! Please check back soon” will reassure visitors that the site hasn’t disappeared. Providing an estimated downtime helps manage expectations.

Security Fixes

Maintenance page for security updates

Let users know you take their data seriously. Something like, “We’re performing important security updates. Your safety is our priority!” shows professionalism and care.

Unexpected Downtime.

Unexpected downtime maintenance page

Acknowledge the disruption with a message like, “Oops! We’re working to fix things ASAP.” A bit of humor (if it suits your brand) can ease potential frustration.

Remember to click the Save button and save settings before moving on.

Step 4. Configure Maintenance Mode Settings

Next, we’ll show you how to connect your email marketing service and configure your landing page settings.

Connecting Your Email Service Provider

You can connect your email marketing service to your maintenance page to grow your list while you work behind the scenes.

First, click the Optin Form block from the left-hand panel, then drag it onto your maintenance page.

Add an optin form to your WordPress maintenance mode page

Then click it to customize the different options, including which form fields to display, your button styling options, alignment, and more.

Customize your optin form

After that, click the Connect tab at the top of your page to integrate an email marketing service provider.

SeedProd email marketing integrations

SeedProd integrates with several popular marketing services, including Constant Contact, Drip, GetResponse, and more, to help you grow your list. It also allows you to set up Google Analytics Recaptcha for spam protection and connect to thousands of apps via Zapier.

To integrate your email list, click any option on the page and click Connect. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to authorize your account, as shown in the screenshot below.

Connect your email marketing service

Don’t forget to save changes when you’re finished.

Maintenance Page Settings

Now, it’s time to configure your maintenance page settings. Click the Page Settings option at the top of your screen to see the settings page.

SeedProd landing page settings

In the General settings area, you can give your page a new name, change the status from draft to published or vice versa, and enable Isolation Mode. Isolation Mode stops 2 scripts from running to avoid any WordPress theme or plugin conflicts.

The Access Control section lets you create a bypass URL to grant access to specific people. It’s also possible to give access based on the user role logged-in users have.

You can set the page to bypass users with specific cookie settings. However, this may not work on sites with specific caching settings.

maintenance mode access control settings

The SEO and Analytics sections help you manage your pages’ search optimization and traffic statistics. While in the scripts section, you can add custom scripts in your header, body, and footer areas, such as your Facebook tracking pixel.

When you’re happy with your settings, click Save.

Now that your page is ready, it’s time to check the responsiveness before you hit publish.

Check Your Page is Mobile Friendly

By checking your page’s responsiveness, you can ensure your maintenance page looks stunning across all devices.

The option for checking responsiveness is available by clicking the mobile preview icon on the bottom-left side of your page in the Design tab.

Mobile responsive maintenance page

If you click on Desktop, you will see how it appears on other screens.

Check the mobile responsiveness of your maintenance page

Similarly, clicking on Mobile can check its appearance on smaller screens like mobile phones.

Step 5. Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode

Now, you can hit the publish button so that your page goes live. To do that, click the dropdown arrow next to the Save button.

Then, go ahead and click Publish.

Publish your WordPress maintenance mode page

SeedProd will then notify you that your maintenance page is live. To see how your live site looks, click the See Live Page button.

notification that your page was published

The page below is just an example from our test website. You can develop much better-looking maintenance mode pages for your WordPress site using your creativity.

example how to put WordPress in maintenance mode

Enable WordPress Maintenance Mode

The final step is to turn on maintenance mode for your WordPress website. Go to SeedProd » Pages from your WordPress admin area and find the maintenance mode section.

Enable maintenance mode page in seedprod

Then click the Inactive toggle to activate the WordPress site in maintenance mode.

Logged-in users will usually be able to access the backend, just like you did before. But your visitors will see the maintenance page you just created with SeedProd. Even better, your page won’t be affected if you update WordPress.

You can use this process to put your website in maintenance mode whenever you want to take down your site for a quick fix.

How to Turn off WordPress Maintenance Mode

When you have finished updating and maintaining your website, you can disable maintenance mode so the public can reaccess your website.

You can turn off your maintenance mode by heading to your WordPress admin area and accessing the SeedProd dashboard.

Then, it’s as simple as clicking the toggle from the Active to Inactive position.

how to turn off wordpress maintenance mode

Maintenance is now disabled and deactivated, and anyone can access your website.

Author’s Note
There are, of course, other ways to create a maintenance page in WordPress. For example you can use an alternative maintenance mode plugin or manually code your maintenance page from scratch. However, in this guide, we’ve covered the EASIEST solution to help you get up and running quickly.

WordPress Maintenance Mode FAQs

We get a lot of questions from our readers on this topic. Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about putting WordPress in maintenance mode.

My site is stuck in maintenance mode; what should I do?
If your site is stuck in maintenance mode after an update, it may be because the .maintenance file was not deleted. Access your site’s root directory via FTP to see the file manager and delete the file.
How do I put WordPress in maintenance mode without a plugin?
While WP maintenance mode plugins are simplest, you can manually enable maintenance mode. This involves creating a .maintenance file in your website’s root directory and adding a short PHP code snippet. If you’re comfortable with basic file editing, there are many online tutorials that detail the process.
How do I put my WordPress site under construction?
Maintenance mode is the perfect way to hide your site while it’s being built. Choose a plugin that offers “Coming Soon” or “Under Construction” templates, or customize a maintenance page to display a launch countdown, contact information, or even sneak peeks at the upcoming design.
Does maintenance mode affect all pages of my website?
Typically, yes. Maintenance mode creates a temporary page that replaces your entire website for visitors. However, you can usually allow logged-in administrators to access the full site for editing.
Will maintenance mode affect my SEO ranking?
Short periods of maintenance mode shouldn’t have a significant impact on your SEO. Search engine bots understand that websites occasionally need downtime. However, leaving your site in maintenance mode for extended periods can negatively impact your rankings.

Next, More WordPress Maintenance Mode Tips

We hope this article helped you learn how to put WordPress in maintenance mode. All that’s left is to dive in and create a powerful maintenance page that helps secure more leads and grow your business.

You might also find the following related guides helpful:

Thanks for reading! We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to leave a comment with any questions and feedback.

You can also follow us on YouTubeX (formerly Twitter), and Facebook for more helpful content to grow your business.

author avatar
Stacey Corrin Writer
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

Comments

  1. the most importen thing is: it must simply work! and dont waste time of users which such a simply thing like a maintenance site. Its not possible to change the big background picture. the preview links doesn`t work. very very sad. bon voyage :)

    1. Hi Marcel, we’re sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with your maintenance page. We can assure you that changing your background image and previewing your design is possible with SeedProd. However, with the manual code method, that won’t be possible. Please check out our maintenance mode documentation, or if you need more help, do feel free to submit a support ticket.

  2. Hello! I have followed the instructions (I think! LOL) and my wordpress dashboard has the orange “maintenance mode active” info at the top, BUT anyone who checks my website, says they don’t see the nice Maint Mode page…. they only see the construction debris on my website ;) Not sure what to check next? Thank you!

  3. Hi there, Loving your product, however I’m on the free version, and can only see the maintenance page on mobile view… I do not wish for others to view the website in desktop as I haven’t even launched it yet! Anyway this can be taken down and/or also replaced with a maintenance page? Thanks!

Comments are closed.